A verse in Psalm 92 leapt off the page as I gazed out into the garden: "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree...".
Of all the days I could've read this! On day 114 of this year's reading, I happen to have a palm tree in sight at the neighbor's house next door. "There has to be something in this," I thought to myself.
Of course the passage goes on from there and talks about the cedar tree as well, but since I had this palm tree in sight, I couldn't take my mind off the image of what it means to flourish like it.
I began asking myself all sorts of questions. "Why are the righteous likened to it? Are there secrets of righteous living to be learned from this tree? How would this make a difference for me?"
An intriguing hour later, having read at least a dozen commentaries on the passage, I think I have an understanding of why the Lord would use this image. And it's just so cool!! I'll never look at a palm tree the same way again.
I took pages of notes on the subject (who knew there was so much written about the palm tree?!), but my heart took hold of a few particular truths:
Tall and stately, rarely drooping in sun or beaten down by rain, this tree gracefully spreads its branches to provide shade to those who pass by.
Yes, I want to be like that!
The palm grows steadily throughout its long lifetime, and continues to give fruit from generation to generation such as coconuts, dates, and oil from over 2000 varieties of the palm.
I want this too! I want to keep growing, and be fruitful to the end.
It endures, sways gently, is constantly green, and continually flourishes.
Yes, yes! My heart soars to think of this kind of living for the rest of my life.
When we see a noble palm standing erect, sending all its strength upward in one bold column, and growing amid dearth and drought of desert, we have a fine picture of the godly man who, in his uprightness, aims alone at the glory of God.
And there is the secret: Aiming for the glory of God. Isn't that beautiful?!
With fronds draping gracefully, its column standing erect, the palm tree is an exquisite symbol of the life of one who aims for His glory!
My soul cries out "YES!" This is my aim, my calling, my passion: To do all to the glory of God.
It's an old and known truth, to live in this way. But I love how God freshly delivered it to me again today.